Gunmen wearing burqas storm Pakistan university, at least 9 killed

Police officials present at the site of the attack told Dawn news that four terrorists were also killed.

world Updated: Dec 01, 2017 20:52 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Peshawar,Pakistan,Terror attack
Pakistani security personnel take position outside an Agriculture Training Institute after an attack by Taliban militants in Peshawar on December 1.(AFP Photo)

Taliban fighters disguised in burqas stormed Peshawar’s Agricultural Training Institute on Friday morning, killing at least nine people and injuring a further 32, many of them students.

The men, who reportedly arrived in an auto-rickshaw, attacked the students’ hostel. The institute was closed for the Eid-e-Milad holiday.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack. It also posted a photo of the three attackers with Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah.

An operation launched by security forces, assisted by military helicopters conducting aerial surveillance of the premises, was successful in killing the three attackers.

Pakistan Army spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor confirmed all three attackers were dead, adding that the identity of a fourth suspected attacker was being confirmed.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa police said they recovered three suicide jackets, 20 grenades and small arms and ammunition from the bodies of the terrorists. Local police chief Salahuddin Mehsud claimed the men were aided by foreign intelligence agencies, while Ghafoor said the men were in contact with their handlers in Afghanistan during the attack.

Mehsud also said security forces were able to secure a second hostel before the terrorists could reach it. “There were around 60 people in one hostel and 50-60 in the other,” he continued, adding that housing colonies are also located in the surrounding area.

“If the hostels and houses had not been evacuated in a timely manner, the number of casualties could have been in the hundreds,” he said.

Peshawar — the capital of the restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and close to the Afghan border — has seen some of the worst violence of the Taliban insurgency in recent years.

In 2014, 147 people, including 132 schoolchildren, were massacred in one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in Pakistan’s history when terrorists stormed the Army Public School in Peshawar Cantonment.

Later, in 2016, 21 students and staff members of Bacha Khan University in Charsadda were killed after terrorists attacked the institute.

(With inputs from Agencies)

First Published: Dec 01, 2017 11:04 IST